This is one of those stories where one doesn’t know whether to poop or go blind. The women had to struggle so hard to get ski-jumping listed as an Olympic sport. And now they face these apparently quite arbitrary disqualifications.
Canada’s Abigail Strate, the winner by default, said, “. . . just goes to show that they were taking the rules pretty strictly and seriously because it is the absolute highest level of sport.” Oh no, her own victory wasn’t bittersweet at all. Richly deserved, in fact, because the Olympic officials were enforcing the rules at the “highest level.”
But some of the men were probably wearing those special “webbed gloves” that could have given them “extra lift.” Or ski boots with wide laces. Why weren’t they disqualified?
The whole thing smacks of a sexism that has long permeated the Olympics. Acceptance of women has been slow and begrudging. “You know, women’s bodies weren’t really created to withstand all those impacts.” Or women’s hockey, “Oh no, much too violent. Maybe we should introduce a croqueting contest.”
The decision was sexist, unfairness, and arbitrariness masquerading as “the very highest standards.” Public opinion should react with fury.